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Two days left to weigh in on passport fee hike

Passport Canada is being tight-lipped about plans to hike passport feesand what Canadians are telling the agency about the idea.

Passport Canada is being tight-lipped about plans to hike passport fees and what Canadians are telling the agency about the idea.

“When we have more to say, we will,” is all spokesperson Béatrice Fénelon would say about plans to ask Parliament to raise the price of a five-year passport to $120 from $87. A new 10-year passport would cost $160.

Consultations to approve the fee hike — a requirement of the User Fee Act — began on Nov. 10 and end tomorrow.

The fee increase comes as Passport Canada is introducing ePassports, which contain an embedded microchip. “This new passport book will be more resistant to tampering and will make illicit travel, such as travelling under a false identity, more difficult,” the Passport Canada website says. The new fees are to come into effect sometime in 2013.

NDP MP Jinny Sims said the new fees will put passports out of reach for many families.

“Having a passport is becoming more and more essential, even to go over the border into the United States. If you’ve got a family of four, you’re looking at an incredible amount of money.”

To have your say on the proposed fee hikes, click here.